How to turn a Crisis into Opportunity
The idea that an economic crisis could actually be a business opportunity may seem strange, but it is true. Successful companies know how to take advantage of a recession to take their business to the next level.
Recent research has shown that 49% of British professionals plan to launch their own start-up business if they are made redundant. And why not? Well-known, world beating companies had their birth in economic troughs: household name James Dyson launched his vacuum company in the downturn of the early nineties, while entrepreneurial icon Bill Gates founded Microsoft in the recession of 1975.
These two entrepreneurs – and the thousands more like them around the world – are testament to the fact that if you have a good business idea and are prepared to work hard, success is up for grabs. Even in a downturn.
As the economic crisis engulfs Greece, starting a new business might seem like the last thing on anyone’s mind. Financial and commercial markets are collapsing, pensions and savings have seen their values significantly reduced, house prices have plunged drastically and unemployment has risen at an alarming rate. Youth unemployment has risen even faster than the national rate since 2006, according to figures from the Hellenic Statistical Authority - latest percentages show that 22.3% of 25-34 year-olds are unemployed while one in every three people at the working age of up to 24 years cannot find a job. And figures are set to rise for the rest of this year, thanks to a raft of public sector job losses.
So amidst all this crisis, why would anyone consider starting a business now?
Quite simply, now is the time for Greece to become more enterprising, not less. Growth and investment is vitally needed and it is time for Greek entrepreneurs to step up the plate and turn their spark of an idea into reality.
Statistics show that the majority of the newly unemployed are in some way skilled and qualified and it is these individuals that can now use their own initiative to set up their business and help kick-start the economy.
And the outlook is good. Research by Yoodoo.biz, a web consultancy for start-ups, has shown that businesses formed during a recession are remarkably resilient - just 0.6% of UK companies founded in 2009 went into receivership or liquidation in the same year, compared with an average of 4.5% of those set up between 2000 and 2008.
The recession has created a new generation who are setting up companies based on leaner business models, enabling them to adapt to the new economy. They use recession periods to make their businesses stronger, more competitive and ultimately more successful.
In Greece, there are many who harbour the ambition to start their own businesses, yet thanks to a lack of self-belief and basic guidance, only a tiny proportion ever achieve it.
ChiefAim has been established precisely to address this problem by providing effective, low-cost and personalised solutions to young entrepreneurs who are so critical to our economic recovery. This will allow a new generation of business start-ups to emerge.
Believing in a dream and embracing its risks will help reinvent our community and our country.